Water-logging, traffic snarls, wall collapses, tree falls, deaths – these have become integral parts of the monsoon, and all of this happen across the city on Thursday.
At least 31 spots got water-logged because of the heavy downpour, with the suburbs getting more affected than the island city. This led to severe traffic congestions, and to add to the mess, the traffic flow in the western suburbs was badly hit after millworkers blocked roads in Bandra protesting the state’s decision to draw lottery for allotting houses on mill land instead of handing them over to the families of the former textile millworkers.
The inept handling of the rasta roko by the police and the traffic police left thousands of commuters stranded between 10.30am and 2.30pm. “I took close to three hours to travel from Hill Road in Bandra (west) to Dadar. There were people literally sleeping on the roads and not allowing the vehicles to move,” said Abha Gupta, 25, an MBA student.
Nothing was done to stop the illegal protest when it took place, but the traffic police have now promised action. “We will take action against the protestors as they had not organised the protest legally,” said Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police.
Traffic officials said diversions were put in place to control the situation. “During the rasta-roko, north-bound traffic was diverted from Mori Road in Mahim to Raheja hospital to Dharavi T-junction. Internal diversions were put in place where necessary,” said Brijesh Singh, additional commissioner of police, traffic.
Water-logging and the resultant traffic jams were reported in many parts of the city, including Chembur, Kalachowkie junction, Poisar subway, Andheri subway, Ramnagar subway at Vakola, on JVLR, Bhandup, Kurla and Dharavi. “I left my home in Borivli for my office in Andheri at 10am and reached at 12.30pm. There was bumper-to-bumper traffic on Western Express Highway,” said Kavya Iyer, a 24-year-old media professional.
“We had to close Andheri subway and several low-lying areas as rainwater had flooded these spots. Despite traffic personnel being deployed, traffic moved slowly,” said a traffic official, requesting anonymity.
Low-lying areas such as Hindmata, Parel and Dadar saw some flooding, but the situation was worse in the suburbs- at Goregaon, Kandivli, Malad, Jogeshwari, Kurla and Govandi.
However, the civic body’s disaster management cell maintained that it did not receive complaints after 8am and that the situation was brought under control soon after the complaints were received.
There were wall collapses at seven spots - Dharavi, Matunga, Bandra, Jogeshwari, Kandivli, Borivali and Mulund - but no major injuries were reported.